Mentoring Is Key To Alumni Association Sustainability

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Funaab Library
Funaab Library

Moruff Olalekan – Murphy

There is a huge gap between the struggling for academic excellence within the four walls of the university and the present reality in the outside world.

The vacuum is so wide, that today; most employers of labour considered many university graduates to be unemployable. Every graduate owes so much respect to the lecturers and the management of the FUNAAB over the years in ensuring delivery of quality education.

Funaabites of my generation can recount the amount of sweat and energy dissipated before seeing through CPP/PCP 201, the older generation will not quick to forget their huddle against Prof(Mrs) Afolami of econometric, Dr Akinsete of MTS  and sweet memoir of Prof Dipeolu.

What about Dr Sopeju’s (late) Sociology(of blessed memory); a course, that number of available answers always more than the total number of given questions.

What a good old day and I believe the new set of graduates will definitely have their own sweet tale to share too (let hear yours in the comment section).

These great men and women strive to give us the best of knowledge that prepares a student for future challenges. Asides these people, there are other teacher(s) that helps in shaping our life, career or personal development.

These are our mentors, and everybody deserves one. Today, Funaabites and young graduates keep looking and asking for a set of skills and knowledge that can make thrive in the competitive marketplace. This is the knowledge gap that exists between what student learnt during their stay in the university and what is expected of them in the professional world.

This gap can substantially be bridged with the help of a mentoring program. As such, in response to this demand, the Alumni Association (asides career counsellors and academic advisors) can do much by way of organizing and coordinating a student-alumni mentoring programme. About 8 years ago when I attended the first alumni meeting (Ibadan Chapter), the only person that is very close to me in term of year of graduation and youthfulness is Solaja Korede.

At the end of the meeting that day, the then chairman (late Oderinu) attached me to Oreitan, with the latter having the responsibility of ensuring that I attend the meeting regularly.

Today, my mentor who happened to be a senior banker, with significant difference in age, year of graduation and socio status with me later become one of my “best friend and confidante”.

The relationship has not only transcended mentor-mentee, but he has also made my banking career less challenging. My experience is not far different from the mutual relationship that exists between Bolaji (mentor) and Solaja(mentee), Prof Adedeji-Bashir, Oritan-Ahmed, the list goes on….

This model has helped Ibadan chapter to remain arguably the most active branch of the association. To further strengthen this initiative, the chapter in conjunction with Lidda Konsult conducted an opinion survey of the members. Although this is not a comprehensive research work, the outcome shows a clear intention and expectation of average alumni; which is a value proposition of the alumni association.

The result shows that about 93% is available to attend alumni events or programme, 87% of the population is willing to attend a monthly meeting and of the total available, 75% is willing to give back or contribute to the alumni projects/events/programme.

It is evidence that mentoring will help in reducing knowledge deficit, likewise ensure growth, development and sustainability of the association(structurally and financially).

To every alumni that had taken up the responsibilities, kudos to you, but a lot can be achieved if the association can have a properly tailored mentoring program on a well-designed platform for the incoming generation of alumni.

After all ” a candle losses anything by lightening another candle”. 

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